Tuesday, April 8, 2014

For God So Loved the World That He GAVE...

I have been facilitating a women's bible study and we are currently studying the book of Acts.  Last week we reviewed the last few passages of Acts chapter 4 and then looked at chapter 5.  One of the many things we discussed was chapter 4:34-37.

"Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold,
And laid them down at the apostles' feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need.   And Joses, who by the apostles was surnamed Barnabas, (which is, being interpreted, The son of consolation,) a Levite, and of the country of Cyprus, Having land, sold it, and brought the money, and laid it at the apostles' feet." 

I have walked in Christian circles for nearly 40 years.  Only recently have I met a body of people who move in such a manner as the brethren in Acts 4 did, willing to give their time, their money, their food, their selves; not only to other brethren in the church, but to the community around them.  I have seen them in action (ACTS-ion) many times. 

My son in-law is the pastor of the church body I mentioned above.  Recently, he, my daughter and their three year old son moved in with my husband and me.  They are occupying the basement portion of the house.  After discussing some extensive renovations, such as installing a second bathroom downstairs, adding walls, installing carpeting, closets, etc, we called one of the men from the church who is a builder to come take a look at what we want and give us an estimate. 

A few days later he called us.  He told us that he, along with the church's board members, had been praying about what they could do to help their pastor and his family.  After he came to look at what we wanted done and give us the estimate, he went to the board members with his idea. 

Like the brethren in Acts 4, they were in one accord.  They decided to buy all the materials necessary for the basement renovations, and to come in and do the work!  All for free. 

We were stunned with the news.  Our family agreed that we have never had a church reach out to us like this body of people does.  Being unacquainted with this kind of generosity towards our family, I repeatedly told the Lord on my way to church that I didn't know what to do with this.  How do I handle this?  I really struggled with not knowing how to accept this gift. 

At the end of our 20 minute ride, just as we were approaching the church, the Lord spoke two words to me.  He said, "Just receive." 

I suddenly had a clearer understanding.  My sin was before me and I wept and wept.  I had forever assumed the role of "giver" and rarely accepted the role of "receiver."  Being a giver, I understand the joy it brings to give to others.  I'm sure you have given a gift and watched the face of the recipient light up with joy.  Isn't that a wonderful feeling?!  Imagine how you would feel if you gave a wonderful gift to someone you love dearly and they refused it.  It would break your heart. 

The Lord has shown me that He is a giver.  And that he takes great delight in giving his children good gifts. 

Luke 12:32  "it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom."

James 1:17  "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father."

John 3:16  "“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son."


Romans 6:23  "the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."

The scripture list of  God's giving is long.

Yea and Amen brethren.  God is a giver.  Just receive



3 comments:

  1. Yes, we are more likely to feel good about our giving, than receiving. I remember a Sunday when I went forward for prayer. This was in 1995, Peter had come into my life and I was feeling so blessed that God had brought into my life a man that loved ME. I went forward for prayer after the service and sharing with the Pastor's wife who was there to pray with me, I told her that I just couldn't believe how good God was being to me. And she said, Janet, you are so worth it! Just receive from the Lord this blessing He is giving you. So I turned my eyes to heaven, lifted my hands and started to say, I receive, I receive, I receive. And the Holy Spirit began to pour into me, the love of God. I ended up on my knees, weeping in my hands as I continued to say, I receive, I receive. I felt God pour into every cell of my body, his love for me. I felt like a dry sponge that was filled to over flowing, with water to spare just oozing out of me. It was an experience that I will never forget!

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  2. Thats awesome! The Lord is good!!!!

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  3. Wow! That's incredible? This brought tears to my eyes! Thank you for sharing!

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